News & Notes
As we all come together by all staying apart, I’ve been impressed and even moved by how quickly many of our clients and other cultural organizations are adapting. You’ve seen the news and social coverage of all the live-streams and pre-recorded offerings. Maybe you’ve watched a few of the audience-less orchestra concerts and theater performances.
At the risk of sounding too upbeat for this strange and scary moment, this new digital imperative is kickstarting a whole area of innovation that was active but not particularly urgent at most museums and performing arts organizations. As one client had asked us last year, What would digitally native experiences of our art-form look like? (That was a classical music outfit, supported by a grant from the League of American Orchestras. Substitute your own content-area or art-form.)
But in our hurry to get the content out there, let’s not forget that innovation requires a feedback loop, a creative back-and-forth with the humans in your community who need you differently now — and in some ways need you more. Evaluation should be built into the process — yes, even when we’re working fast and just trying to stay sane. It doesn’t have to be expensive, cumbersome, or formal. It can be quick, humanistic, agile, and seamlessly embedded in the virtual-arts-experience itself.
Those have long been watchwords in the commercial tech sector, and now we need them more than ever in nonprofit culture: Rapid prototyping. Human-centered design. Community collaboration.
We’re here to help, whether that means offering an ear and a few ideas or diving in to support your digital experiments with lean, smart evaluation or rapid, generative research. (I’ll have more to say tomorrow about the expanding roles research can play in these scary times.) Call me at (773) 348-9200 x102 or send a note.
And from all of us: stay healthy, and keep the faith. We’ll get through this together.
Photo: The Minnesota Orchestra playing for a live-stream concert a few days ago, via Twitter @mn_orchestra.